Pipped at the Post, but not Second Best.

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If Mozart had good reason to hate Guiseppe Cambini (see our post, 25.02.2016), what about Antoine Riecha and Franz Danzi? In a case of “Pipped at the Post”  Danzi the continental outsider managed to publish three new wind quintets in Paris,  just months before Reicha produced his own version.  Riecha was “king” in Paris, however, and riding a great wave of popularity he went on to write a total of 24 quintets.  Today Reicha is widely accepted as establishing the wind quintet form in the 1820’s.  Danzi eventually produced nine quintets but was seemingly much more interested in other musical forms.  He did know his business though, especially how to get noticed in Paris in the 19th century.  He was cheeky, too:  He dedicated those first three quintets (Opus 56, 1821) to Reicha himself! (1)

FRANZ DANZI
 Franz Danzi (1763– 1826)   (2)
 Maurice Schlesinger Publisher
Maurice  Schlesinger  (1798 – 1871)  (3)
Paris Publisher of Danzi’s Opus 56 quintets
(1  )“The Opus 56 Wind Quintets of Franz Danzi”. http://www.ids.org. 3.03.2016
(2)  “Franz Danzi Pictures”. www.picsearch.com. 3.3.2016;
 (3) “Portrait of Maurice F Schlesinger”. www.chemheritage.org.  3.03.2016.

 

Speaking of Reeds

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These are the best images we’ve found yet of the early chalumeau:   descendant of the recorder and predecessor of the clarinet.  Notice the unusual position of the reed:  played against the upper lip, rather than the bottom lip as today.  On the left is a chalumeau in C (by Liebav) and on the right, one in F (by Klenig) from the early 18th century. (Musikmuseet, Stockholm).chalumeau in C Grove Music Online

For the full story, see:

Colin Lawson. “Chalumeau”.  Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press.  Web. 29 Feb. 2016. http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com.ezproxy

How many names can a bassoon have?

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First there were the Medieval and Renaissance Shawms, later to become bassoons.  But depending on what 16th century European country you were in, there were plenty of different names.  Try matching up these names with the correct countries (bassoonresource.org. 29.2.2016):

Curtal/Curtail                       Germany

Basson/Fagot                        England

Dulcian/Fagott                     Spain

Fagotto                                   Italian

Bajon                                       France

DULCIAN SOPRANINO

Sopranino Dulcian  Metmuseum.org. 29.2.2016

The Shawm ~ Bassoon’s Grandaddy

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Double reed players: imagine holding the entire double reed INSIDE your mouth!  That was the Medieval shawm….apparently a Bagdad-ian invention in the reign of Calif Harum-al-Rashid (763 – 807). Possibly it was uncomfortable (!?) because by the time of the Rennaissance the double reed had migrated OUTSIDE the mouth and was fully controlled by the lips.  This Iowa State site includes some interesting sound bites:  music.iastate.edu/antigua/renshawm/htm. 29/2/2106

Medieval Shawm Double Reed:MEDIEVAL SHAWM DOUBLE REED

 

 

 

 

 

 

Musical Espionage – Cambini

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GUISEPPE CAMBINI (1746 – 1825) was an elusive character, possibly even a “shady” character.   Consider:   his use of multiple names; the uncertainty of his birth and death dates; his self-promoting & fanciful myths (dramatic capture and abuse by pirates; rescue by a rich Venetian);  his outright duplicity about early relationships with known musical figures, including Haydn; and his easy adoption of new genres to achieve popularity….the symphonie concertant, for example, which got him noticed on the art-music scene in Paris during the 1770’s.  He was prolific, no doubt, writing more than 80 symphonie concertantes, PLUS 9 symphonies, 17 concertos and over 100 string quintets.  He also wrote three wind quintets, a very minor part of his huge output.  His crowning deceit came in 1778 when Cambini allegedly colluded to block the performance of a new symphony concertante by Amadeus Mozart (KV287b for flute, oboe, horn and bassoon).  Mozart wrote to his father about the planned performance at the Concert Spirituel….but Cambini persuaded the concert director (Joseph Le Gros) in favour of a work by Cambini himself!  At least that is Mozart’s version.  The Mozart autograph “disappeared” and has never been recovered.  So my question is this:  Would you vote for this man???


GUISEPPE GIOACCHINO CAMBINI
Cambini    ?1746-1825?

This note is based on the following Web articles:

 

“The Search for Cambini”. angelfire.com. 25.02.2016; “Guiseppe Maria Gioacchino Cambini”. editionhh.co.uk. 25.02.2016; “Guiseppe Cambini”. en.wikipedia.org. 25.02.2016** **Refers to the 1969 anti-Nixon presidential campaign slogan.

Rise of the Classical Wind Quintet

EAST WINDIES LOGO small.jpgWhat forces led to the incremental rise in classical Wind Quintet music during the late 18th century?  A quick tally shows ROSETTI wrote one quintet (1), CAMBINI (3), DANZI (9) and REICHA outdid himself with twenty four (24)….establishing the genre by 1820.  Here are three factors that no doubt influenced the zeitgeist:

  1. HARMONIEMUSIK set a precedent for wind instrument ensembles.The Holy Roman Emperor of Austria Joseph II (1741 – 1790) hugely popularized court music for 8 instruments (two each of oboes, clarinets, horns & bassoons. No flutes). These were in-house bands, part of the musical staff; and their function was to provide recreational serenades for banquets and outdoor garden parties.

HARMONIEMUSIK    Harmoniemusik Band  

Emperor Joseph II     Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II

2.  JOSEPH HAYDN’s (1732 – 1809) chamber compositions.  After Haydn’s release from his Esterhazy commitments and the subsequent publication of his early string quartets in 1781 (opus 33), chamber genres gained in popularity. Other composers began applying similar ideas to wind music (small groups/balance of instruments).  We’ve included a little miniature of Haydn’s wife Anna.  You already know what Haydn looks like….

Haydn's Wife AnnaAnna Haydn

3. DEVELOPMENTS in instrument making, especially the clarinet.  As wind instruments became more technically adept in the 18th century, the compositional possibilities increased. For example, keypad, ligature and reed shape changes to the early Denner clarinet (17th c) were made by Iwan Muller in 1812. Suddenly tonality and reliability improved (it seems the old felt keypads did not guarantee a good (or any) sound!).  Composers were not backward in exploring/exploiting(?) the new possibilities.

EARLY CLARINET Muller (1800)                                                         Iwan Muller period clarinets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sydney Sopranino

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Upcoming ABO concert, Recorder Revolution[1], is featuring a Vivaldi concerto for sopranino recorder (the Flautino).  Popularly known as the English Flute in the 16th – 18th centuries, the recorder family hosted as many as 8 members: the Flautino/sopranino being the very tiniest (8 inches long).  All but forgotten in the 19th and early 20th centuries, recorder music has—you could say—“done a Renaissance”, starting in 1930’s Germany with its adoption by the Youth Movement for folk music. By the 1950’s it was in western schools big time as a first instrument for children.  On the professional side, music for recorder got a boost with the rise of interest in the Baroque and early performance practices.[2]  How do they look?  Here is a collection of modern recorders, with the sopranino on the right.  There’s a somewhat tenuous relationship with the chalumeau  (to ponder in a future post!)

 Recorder FAMILY2

  1.  See the Australian Review 20-21/02/16
  2. These notes based in part on the www.skwix.com article re: music instruments/recorders 20.2.16

 

 

 

 

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